Monday, September 30, 2013

Love Grows

Love is the planting of a seed, and careful nurturing, brought upon by devotion of time and energy. And then in worshipping one day to realise that a plant has been born. Love, then, is to marvel in its tendrils, and look at amazement at the fact that its previous non existence is now unimaginable.

Love is not looking at the sky and finding new colours. Love is to notice all the familiar hues, and yet find life and wonder in them. Not to love flowers anew, but to develop an appreciation for them.

Love is not some momentous occurence, wrought in a moment of glory of magnanimous happenings, heroic deeds, tales of folk and lore, of stories worth human praise and admiration and thirst and longing for generations to come. Love is to be found in everyday companionship. In ordinary kindnesses, so ordinary that almost unnoticeable. Love is noticing of that ordinariness. Love is realizing that something special has been done by a person of valleys, in all that he was capable of. Love is not expecting the lofty heights of the mountains. Because you yourself wouldn't be able to deliver that yourself.

Love is not the mystery and charm of a little black dress, engulfed in champagne and darkness, encored by the music of seduction and danced in waltzes. It is not heady nights of rapture, where one seeks to impress and then take on from there. No falsehoods, assumptions, presumptions, imitations or impressions. Love is what one finds when encountered by genuineness. That despite all the flaws of that person and your own, that person loves you and you love him back. Love is not a rich mistress, who beckons you with her adventures. Love is found in the graces of your wife who still cleans your house and looks after your children.

Love is not a great fight between lovers, followed by a passionate display of emotions and movie-like love making beside an open fire on the carpet on snowy wintry nights. It is not the flying across continents with a special motif in hand, armed with a guitar to perform a rendition for your lady and win her over to a happily ever after. Love is the continual struggle in ordinary grimy existence to reach out to each other, to keep the communication channel still flowing, even though temptations to be rude and mean and hurtful are rather strong. Love is the uneasiness gnawing at you until you make up to him or her. It is the long last wordless embrace at night that finds comfort in the other, and sends its thanks to God for such a person in his or her life.

Love is not simply the sparks of the first sight. That is simply the seed. The actual love is what follows, if at all. Love is to love the character and nature and eccentricities of a person after long exposure, and still want to be exposed to them everyday. It is not the tumultuous, whirlwind courtship that leaves you out of breath, even though you might dream of that. It is not the wine rich, sandy and sunny, happy, gift sprewn honeymoon period. Love is the testing of the solidity of the marriage afterwards, which is fraught with bills to pay and meals to cook. Love is not a heavy diamond rock you wear on your engagement finger for occasional showing off. It is the simple band that has left permanent impressions on your skin, and in which you take comfort.

Love is not the choosing of a partner after careful analysis, spying by friends, inquiries made by relatives, detectives hired to foray into pasts, checking of Facebook histories and Tumblr accounts. It is the deep seated, inexplicable conviction of your own heart what when, even though you have known very little of his or her life, you just know that this a gem of a human being, and the best for you.

Love is not passionate love making of Kama Sutra standards on a daily basis. It is not only deep throated smooches and uncontrolled impulses. Love is also the simple peck on the cheek, which simply says, "Here I am, and here I will be." It is a cuddle which does not necessarily lead to passionate throes, but often to long, sweet, fulfilling sleeps, having received a fragrance and warmth of the other. Love is an embrace, where you simply hold her, engulf her, let her rest herself against you for as long as she pleases and close her eyes, all the while as you gently rock her back and forth. Love is to let him know, in that embrace, that he is your superhero, your blanket, your home. Love is to tell him that you fear nothing, with him by your side. Love is to be able to know when his arms and back begin to ache, and gently withdraw, and become the support instead.

Love is not Jack's beanstalks that erupt overnight. Love grows.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

If Only

Out beyond ideas
of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field.
I'll meet you there.
- Jelaluddin Rumi
(from "And The Mountains Echoed" by Khaled Hosseini)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Dreams Of You

My dreams of you are great fantasies
Epic operas washed in golden lights
Marble steps, elaborate chandeliers
and dainty feet on shiny granites
Mysterious evenings that fade
into rich promising nights
Anticipation, ardour and excitement.
The air of my dreams of you is perpetually
thick with passion and emotion.
A grand promise of some great
divinity occurring in the undercurrents.
And when you come into sight, the air, it crackles.
And I rush down those steps and rush into you.
Your arms poised to receive as you lift me up.
And passionate kisses follow
oblivious to the eyes around.
I look into your eyes and ask, "Why love me so?"
And your eyes seem to answer simply,
"Because that is what I do."
I rub into your stubble because I like to
And it dawns on me again, that all these years along
You have wordlessly, unconditionally, continually
showered me with your gestures of love
when I had been seeking mere words.
And yet you never stopped,
acts of affection coming forth.
Corazon. You honour me. I love you.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Why I Love My Lotto Shoes

I dearly love my Lotto shoes
because they are big and black
Neither tight and nor too loose
And all girly glitterings they lack.

My big black Lotto shoes have a fiery red
lining, about which in lore and legends is said
would make fully grown men themselves wet
and whimper back to their mothers in a sweat.

My shoes have a spacious front
Some of my weight they bear and grunt
That place is so palatial, that my toes
sneer and bare their imaginary butts to foes.

My toes dance the ballet and remain unchaffed
Play and make merry, and in an orgy are wrapped
There are no cuts, ahoy, or holes at the heels!
No contact with rain water, thus my skin never peels.

Ah yes, I recall, there is a hole at the toe indeed
The one I acquired while learning to weld metal sheets
But now is plugged with a mysterious mochi material
Ah mighty shoes! You withstood the heat of molten aluminium!

Sometimes when they bite my fair ankle
They are easily repaired, after leaving a sore spot
Bitey encounters that leave me rankled
But then what are creams and lotions for?

Most importantly, when filthy people stare at me
I look at my shoes and feel strong and mighty
And I think "Come on chap, dare you touch a hair on me,
These shoes will crack your nuts and make you flighty"

Sunday, May 19, 2013

When Strangers Meet.. : A Review

When "When Strangers Meet.." reached me, I tucked into the familiar smell of new books, and was surprised by its weightlessness. A compact and light book, easy to hide behind practical files in exam time to hide from mum ;)

The story begins with Jai, a rebellious Gurgaon teenager who wants to be an animator and an actor, and is oppressed by an ambitious father, a mathematics professor himself, who wants him to become an engineer, despite Jai's lousy grades. The first part of the novel reveals the strained relationship shared by Jai and his father, the volatile verbal volleys, and the weak peace-maker mother. Jai's retorts are hot and stingy, with a mouthful of swears and characerized by the typical urban teen "lingo". The father's behavior borders on crazy, with his obsession over Jai's engineering, and speeding up on the highways to make Jai bow down. The reader feels sympathetic to the boy. And when Jai decides to tun away, it's almost understandable.

But then fate has something else in store. The Delhi Metro plays a capricious goddess and hinders Jai's first phase of his escape to Mumbai, the city of struggling actors. Stranded on the station, he meets a "stranger", a good-natured, pot-bellied, and slightly irritating Madrasi by the name of Iyer, who is intent on striking up a conversation and narrates his own life story, which is the second part of the novel.

The story has now shifted from the Delhi-Gurgaon urban landscape to the warm, humid and sandy environs of Chennai and Tuticorin. This is when the the story picks up a good pace, and the reader nestles into the comfortable breezes that are Iyer's life story. K Hari Kumar's writing in this part of the novel is indeed delicious, as the reader becomes Iyer through out the narrative, experiencing the highs of the teen years, nursing impossible dreams and fantasies, taking on a mathematician father in a very public tiff, swearing to only return to burn the father's dead body, running away from home to make a name for himself, with a touch of a sweet romance that once was. Tears of sadness were shed when Iyer's dreams crash, and then tears of joy for him when he rebuilds his life. Iyer's longing for home, his new found love and respect for his father, and the fear of returning lest the death curse uttered during their fight come true... it's almost heart breaking.

Jai realizes that his story and circumstances are exactly the same as Iyer's, whose father went on a downward spiral ever since he ran away, and is now lying on his death bed. Jai is jolted back into reality and begins understanding his own father, along with the realization that he still has a chance to go back home and prevent the worst from coming. However, Jai's return back home and Iyer's disappearance from Jai's life was surprising, and contained an "unworldly" element, which gives the story an interesting turn at the end. The last of the three characters, the humble and poor Pathan, did not prove to be integral to the story. I wish the treatment of this particular character was far more detailed as he had seemed very promising in the beginning and would have given the novel a whole new dimension indeed.

"When Strangers Meet.." by K Hari Kumar, is a light hearted drama with a bit of suspense in the end. Priced at Rs 100, it's a warm hearted coming-of-age story. The title not only stresses the turn Jai's life takes when he meets a stanger, but also how Jai and his father, who were till now strangers to each other, finally "meet" and begin understanding each other. Spiced up with details of city life of Delhi and Chennai, with the characters spending a lot of time in our beloved Metro, the good pace of the story and the weightlessness of the book makes it an ideal read while commuting in the Metro ;)



Title : When Strangers Meet..  
Pages: 216      
Price: 100/-
Publisher: Srishti Publishers & Distributors
 Published: May 2013   
Language: English 
 ISBN:9789380349930 
 Category: Fiction


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Adoration

देखते थे चुपके चुपके तुझको 
देखता है प्यार प्यार को जैसे 
जो छू गुज़रती तो लगता ऐसा 
सनम को मिली वफ़ा हो जैसे 

दुआ को दी दुआएं तेरी 
मेरी ही तुम रिदा हो जैसे 
जाती हुई हवाओं में हों 
ताबीज़ों की रवायें जैसे 

रेगिस्तान की रेतों में हैं 
सूफी के गीत समाए जैसे 
मिल जाऊं तुझ में भी मैं 
मुहब्बत में हो इबादत जैसे 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Yaar...February Ki Spelling??

There is this awesome friend of mine called Whizkid. We met on the third day of college, and thankfully have been together since. Before I begin with my tiny story, let me tell you a bit about my college and my brilliant friend. Indira Gandhi Institute of Technology, IPU Delhi, the mythical haven of technical minded nymphs, and in our own words, "the fairer tech"; the engineering equivalent of the lost Atlantis where women rule; and the abode of beauty and brains; THE place to source girlfriends from. Before the readers go into orgasmic euphoria, let me tell you clearly and crisply, HALT. Please halt. We may not be geeks, but we are not supermodels either. Only 3 in 10 take the pains of being presentable, 2 in 10 succeed, and 1 in 10 is truly beautiful.

But girls they still are. So what do people like me (cold-hearted) do when confronted with such a scenario? Naturally, we seek the likes of each other, and this is what drew me to Whizkid.

Whizkid is a brilliant person, is the topper of my mechanical batch, very sharp and observant, analytical, conclusive and foresighted. Also, she is a tech freak. You can see the divine light of a screen in her bright eyes, the current running through her skin when she touches a button; you can almost hear her brain whirring maniacally when confronted with a new gadget. The more complicated the better.

She is the proud owner of a macbook, the legend behind it being: when her dad asked her why she needed it, she simply replied she didn't need it at all; pure lust draws her to it.

IGIT Delhi is holding the SAE NIS CONVENTION this year. And we being in the SAE-IGIT Council, are working hard to make it a success. And mine being a government college, is working even more hard to make everything hard :p We have to move a file to take permission for moving a file :p Yes, really :p But we have now honed the skill of writing formal applications :/

Now imagine my surprise when one day while writing a letter, Whizkid says, "Yaar February ki spelling bataiyo! Its Febuary? Februrary?"  I told her the correct one, and we moved on. Next day again, "Archika, February?" Again with a raised eyebrow I dictated her the correct one. And the same thing happened later that day. Needless to say, I did this the whole of Feb :p "Whizkid, its F-E-B-R-U-A-R-Y".

In March, the replacements have been the words "inaugural", "competition", "solicited", "competent", "receipt", "received", so on and so forth :p One day she confessed, "Yaar laptop toh apne aap theek kardeta hai na, paper itna backward I tell you, no autocorrection!"

Pentium wise, pen and paper foolish!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Aim Inclusion

When I went in for my first counselling for admission into engineering, my cousin brother was in his final year, belonging to the electronics and communication discipline. He was a diploma holder, and thus had gained direct entry into the second year of engineering, having evaded the counselling process. He had no idea what I was going through. When I called him up after my counselling to tell him that I secured a seat in the mechanical discipline, instead of congratulations, this is what I heard, "Tu pagal hogayi hai?? Ladki hokar mechanical leli! Kaise survive karegi? Pata bhi hai mechanical kitni tough hoti hai! Tu toh gayi... Ab meri baat sunn, ghabra matt, second counselling mein upgrade karwa lena. Theek hai?"

I didn't say a word. I handed the phone to my dad, and choked back on my tears. Not because I was sad that I had mechanical, but because of the reaction it had invoked. "Couldn't he have been happy for me?", I thought.

Dad smiled, he had understood. He said, "Don't worry beta, achi stream hai, evergreen! Cars toh hamesha chalengi na ;) "

My mom wasn't happy either, but that was a mother's worry, and not some judgmental ordinance passes so thoughtlessly. Same story with parents' friends, their friends, relatives and other people I didn't give a damn about, nut who had lots of advise to give to me. (India hai, yahan free advice metric tonne ke hisab se milti hai :p )

Did I change my stream later on? No, I didn't. Did I even try to? No, I didn't. I began feeling proud of my choice, and defending it whole-heartedly. Working and growing in it, and constantly trying to prove to everybody that my aim isn't lesser than anybody else's because of my gender, that my choices and knowledge deserve to be respected irrespective of my gender, that my inclusion in a workforce is decided by my capability, and nothing else.

I, along with my team mates, went on to participate in the SAE BAJA 2012 event (pronounced as "baha"; for the uninitiated, kindly google it before proceeding further). I would love to say that the event was devoid of any gender biases, but sadly this wasn't the case. I say this because amongst other things, one of my fellow participants commented on my team mate during the event, "Ye toh Delhi ki ladkiyan hain, apna rape bhi kara lengi." She told me about it later.

The person who said this didn't win anything. My team won the chairman's award. And of all the teams whose cars had broken down, mine was the only one which didn't give up. We had a transmission failure, thrice, and yet we didn't give up. Repaired it each time, and completed the four hour long endurance run. And to the gentleman who made the rape comment, if you are reading this sir, please know that I intend to punch you in the face the next time your misfortune brings you in my path.

Stay Hungry, But Not Foolish

We all know about the dreadful months that followed the Xth board examinations... to coach or not to coach? Naraina or Brilliant Tutorials? Oh, there is also Aakash, Sri Chaitanya and the legendary VMC classes for the brainy! Or should I go for some lesser known institute like Guidance, or maybe PI??

Needless to say, these were not the questions that were raging in my mind at that time :p I instead kept devising schemes to deter dad from sending me to coaching. I wanted to be 'different' you see! Except for the fact that I had no clue how or what :p My interests kept varying on an hourly basis from a corporate mogul to an IAF officer, from an entrepreneur to an artist, from a dancer to a RAW agent :p All I knew was that I didn't want to be an engineer or a doctor, because that's what everybody was doing.

Well, my dad, being my dad, succeeded in sending me to Brilliant Tutorials. And again needless to say, I sulked and rebelled and sulked some more and refused to study and made everybody's life a hell. I detested the place, simply because it wasn't of my own choosing. To rebel some more, I started squandering my time in school as well. Disregarding classes and teachers, hanging out in the canteen and ground, not studying for tests...my previously good percentage dropped dramatically. And I still didn't give a shit.

In XIIth I fell in love. Life was heaven itself. Except that everyone else was gearing up for the upcoming competitive exams, save me. Boyfriend kept urging me to study, I paid no heed. When the gravity of the situation finally struck me, it was too late, and panicking was all that could have been done. AIEEE result. Disaster. Utter disaster.

I had let daddy down, and yet he hugged and consoled me. I let myself down, I couldn't face the mirror.

God perhaps had some pity, and I got into a reputed college in Delhi called IGIT, despite everything. It was like an undeserved second chance I got. And that was the day I swore to myself that I'll never let dad down again. And more importantly, never lose my own dignity.

Today I realize how utterly foolish I had been, and how we disregard our parents in our strong-headedness. It's good if we try and do something different in our lives, but it's equally important that we don't block ourselves to the available options. Today, I'm in my third year of mechanical engineering, have won an award in the SAE BAJA 2012 competition, am the treasurer of my SAE IGIT collegiate club, organized a Northern India Section SAE Convention with my friend Whizkid (who is the chairman) and a few more things. I am glad I got my chance, and I intend to make the most of it.

Until later, Cuidate!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

iltija

खुदा तुझसे इतनी सिफारिश 
कि जब भी हो गम की बारिश
वो मेरे लिए रहे ना रहे 
मैं उसके लिए हमेशा रहूँ 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Angel

Though I have been haughty and vocal about my non-allurement towards kids, I recently found myself being drawn towards one. She is just over an year old, is my neighbour, and her name is Angel. Each time one steps into the balcony, one can hear her giggling and shouting and prancing and dancing about, and her mother following her all day long. And if she happens to hear anyone in my balcony, she comes hurrying along on her tiny little feet, waving her fists and flashing her radiant smile. In the past, I never looked at her, not knowing how to react. I always hid behind my  mom. Never smiled back. Longed to but couldn't.

My mom isn't well these days, so I was doing the washing yesterday. And went to the balcony to dry the clothes, and the little darling heard me. Came dancing about. And began smiling. Radiant. Beautiful. Infectious. Her smile became wider and turned into a laugh. A full throat-ed chortle. Shining eyes. Welcoming. Benevolent. Warm. Irrespective of whether I reciprocated or not, whether I was hostile or not. She began saying something, she can't form words yet. Voice full of glee, so happy to just be. Then slowly, as I wrung the last of the garments to rinse out the water, she held out her little arms towards me, wanting to be held.

I suddenly didn't feel tired after a long day.

And I found myself smiling back.
 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Pyaar Ka Nazrana

Valentine ke diwas par, "Pappu Productions" pesh karde ni, mohabbat ki saugat, tikki te bhonde vich atoot rishta, PYAAR KA NAZRANA! Toh Pra ji te unki peheno (brothers and their sisters) twade saamne aa raha hai ye geet, jisse sunke, tikki ja mili bhonde mein...kyuki pyaar hai sada ke liye! Azmaiye yahi geet apni lugai par, aur dekhiye kamaal, jo na hui pitai apki chappal se, toh badal dijiyega hamara naam!



तू मेरी टिक्की, मैं तेरा आलू भोंडा 
तू जो ना मिलदी ते मैं बस रोउन्दा रोउन्दा 
तेरी पतली कमर और मैं हूँ मोटा गेंडा 
तू जो मेरी हो जाये ते मैं बस ख़ुशी मनोउन्दा 
तू मेरा ketchup, मैं तेरा दही और खट्टा 
तू जो संग होले, मैं ख़ुशी नाल भंगड़ा पोउन्दा










PS: This song was composed by me and my brother on one of our many lazy Sunday mornings. Because I'm a very very very nice person, I will not upload the recording and blast your ear drums :P Happy Valentines ;)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Amanat

जिनकी गोद में हंसती-खेला करती थी 
आज उन्हें गुमसुम चुपचाप रोते देखती हूँ 
जो लड़ गए मेरे लिए लाठी-बर्फ पानी से भी 
उन्हें आज हताश हारा हुआ बेबस देखती हूँ 
जिन जानवरों को जीते-जी जलाना चाहती थी 
तुमको उन्हें फांसी देते भी डरते देखती हूँ 
ठंडा हुआ जब सबका गुस्सा, मुझे कर अनदेखा 
तुम्हे आज आज़ादी का जश्न मनाते देखती हूँ।

Friday, January 25, 2013

Growing

"Growing" has been amongst my favourite verses, which has time and again inspired, motivated and encouraged me. Given me hope, ambition and zeal. Made me feel brave, grown up, responsible and a bit more loving. Sharing my favourite poem with you, which always stirs my soul in a manner yet inexplicable to me :)

I'm leaving now to slay the foe-
Fight the battles, high and low.
I'm leaving, Mother, hear me go!
Please wish me luck today.

I've grown my wings, I want to fly,
Seize my victories where they lie.
I'm going, Mom, but please don't cry-
Just let me find my way.

I want to see and touch and hear,
Though there are dangers, there are fears.
I'll smile my smiles and dry my tears-
Please let me speak my say.

I'm off to find my world, my dreams,
Carve my niche, sew my seams,
Remember, as I sail my streams-
I'll love you all the way.

- Brooke Mueller

PS:- If anyone knows anything about the author of this beautiful poem, please let me know. I shall be very grateful! :)

Until later, Cuidate!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Dusk

In the chilly wisps of dusk
When you came to bid me goodbye
Instead of the other way round
And kept whispering cheerful nothings
While I stared at the ground
And grew more agitated, thinking
Of the words yet to be spoken
Of hugs yet to be shared
Of kisses yet to be stolen
Of smiles yet to be flashed
Of eateries I wanted to take you to
Of the things I wanted for you to buy
Of the grounds we had to stroll on
And the million other things we had to try
And not noticing that home was nearing
I didn’t hold your hand when I still could have
And kept asking you to turn back and go
When only you by my side I wanted to have
And at the time of parting
As you drew me in your embrace
When I actually wanted to melt
I instead put up a stone facade
But Love, had I not been foolish enough
To be angry at you having to go away
I would have held you tighter still
And for longer than I did that day.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

When Will My Life Begin?

Starry eyed as I watch them march
Towards their Banyans from beneath my Larch
Basking in their warm glowing delights
They stand taller as I watch with starry eyes

They flew the coop and I was left behind
They conquered realms and I'm yet to myself find
They achieved the most and became stuff of lore
I'm still under wings when they fearless soar

They toiled to the bones when I soundly slept
I procrastinated when their tears of accomplishment were wept
And opportunities passed me by when my eyes were shut
Wondering why didn't any ever my way strut

Dreaming of the future while my present ran past
Blind to the icebergs though perched on the mast
Knowingly a fool and losing while waiting to win
Asking my decades old life when will it begin?



Thursday, January 3, 2013

Open Proposal To Corazon

The moment I first laid my eyes upon you
My heart jumped a bit and mightily proclaimed!
That you, oh dear one, are my equivalent mechanism
and my life's mechanical advantage, it acclaimed!

My heart plundered forward like a 16 cylinder V engine
And used up twice the fuel whenever you came into view
The hound! Power steered after wherever you went
And went into resonant motion when it met you ;)

And my time since with you has been exceptionally stable
No friction, no vibrations, only and only lubrication!
Ah, lucky me, God has indeed blessed me, I feel
as if I'm an electric car in times of fuel inflation @}---

Because you have been my perfect truss of strength
Reinforced with fiber composite material
And strong as stainless steel in times of need
Standing like the Golden Gate Bridge imperial!

My piston, we are like the mating teeth of cycloidal gears
No possibility of interference, no fear of undercutting
You impart me with positive drive, oh Love!
And are my safety pressure valve in times trying.

You are as dear to me as bearings in a hub
Like bushing around a pin to guard from rub
So I go down upon my knee and beg you to dare
My soulmate, will you be my closed pair?


Source: Theory of Machines, S S Rattan

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